The Most Valuable Day

I slept in until eleven thirty today. Three months ago that would qualify as an early morning, but I”ve shifted to becoming an early riser, and now that feels late. Usually I have my writing done by twelve, but it’s one thirty now, and I’m still working on the second sentence. Okay, third now. I don’t feel particularly motivated. Maybe it’s that I just finished some big SETT things yesterday so there’s nothing pressing there. Maybe I’m a bit disappointed that I slept late. I brewed a new tea for my morning pot this morning, and it’s not very good. Maybe that has to do with it.

Today is the most important day, I remind myself. Actually, yesterday was the most important day, but it’s over. Today is the next most important day, making it the most important day I have left in my life.

What makes today so important? Well, I’m as young as I’ll ever be again. I work every day to sharpen my mind, but I’m fighting nature, I think. I have the most time ahead of me as I’ll ever have, making today an excellent day to start new habits, and an important day to keep old habits. Writing every day is one of those habits, so I have to write this. It would be an insult to those even-more-important days in my past where I started this habit, if I didn’t.

Every day I’m alive, I risk death. Not in a great measure, but I live in a big city, I drive a motorcycle, and weird stuff happens. If I lost my legs tomorrow, how would I think about today? Wouldn’t I think about I should have used them when I had that chance? It’s sort of like, after you break up with a girl, you think about the last time you were together, and you think that maybe you should have made it a bit more special. It was your last chance, after all. Today’s probably not my last day with my legs or my brain or my eyes, but you never know. Weird stuff happens.

I’m not the only one living today. If I slack on my work, my competition will inch closer to me from behind, or away from me in front. Am I so cocky that I can give them this day?

Everyone I know is moving one day closer to death today; what can I do to make the most of the time I have left with them?

I don’t really panic in real life, probably as a function of being a professional gambler so long. The only time I panic is when I do it on purpose to try to scare myself. When I go skydiving I try to impress upon myself how my only connection to life are those little strings extending upwards from my shoulders. When I scuba dive, try to focus on how I’m in a hostile environment, full of liquid I can’t breathe. I have a little tank on my back, and without that, I would be dead. These things aren’t really dangerous, but they’re a good opportunity to remember how fragile and valuable life is. In the same way, when I have a day where I feel sluggish or unmotivated, I try to make myself freak out about how important today is and how only a fool could consider not making the most of it.

Usually I just think all this stuff in my head, but today I figured I’d write it out. Already, just a handful of paragraphs later, I feel motivated. Time to wrap up the daily writing habit and move on to crushing out some programming. Today’s your most important day, too… what will you do with it?

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Yesterday The Hustler’s MBA was on the front page of Hacker News and BoingBoing. If you’re a new reader who came here from one of those sites, welcome!

Photo is a beach in Phuket.

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